The tea kettle sings as two children settle in the playroom, now converted to a family office. The dogs come in from the backyard-turned-playground. Two weeks ago I would not have dreamed this would be my normal.
As students moved out of the halls, offices filled with concerned professionals planning how to best support those students. We try to meet immediate student needs through connections with alumni eager to help. We offer opportunities for alumni to help students financially through established emergency funds. A team of talented staff come together to put together care packages for graduating students and to plan for Trinity traditions to be held along with the new August commencement date.
At the same time that we were working to meet student needs, my colleagues and I were focused on how to help our alumni and show them that we are here to walk beside them. While we continue to plan and work as we usually do, we also begin a series of online engagements. For parents–now also homeschoolers–an alumna illustrator does a reading of selected children’s books. In other posts, alumni explain the new CARES and Family First initiatives, debut an animated short, and share heartfelt poetry. These TUgether Tuesday and TUgether Thursday offerings are intended to be a break for some alumni and an outlet for others.
Back in my home, an hour-long visit with an alumnus is underway via Zoom, as are meetings for both of my children with their teachers. We each talk softly and are sure to mute ourselves when it isn’t our turn, mindful that we aren’t alone. I pause to give a thumbs up to my son excitedly holding up his completed original myth about Why Octopuses Have 9 Brains, which was a struggle and true test of patience the day before. The day moves on just like this, a balance of work and parenting, of teaching my kids grit while showing both alumni and coworkers that I care about where they are and how they are doing. Throughout the day, colleagues and alumni that I’m meeting with over Zoom will watch as I run from the room when my child falls from a slack line, watch me stir lunch on the stove while we discuss Alumni Weekend, and undoubtedly notice when my focus trails and I have to remind myself not to multitask. I am not doing this perfectly, but I am getting through it. I am convinced now, more than ever, that we are #OneTrinity.